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Taking Your Ferret's Temperature

By: PetPlace Staff

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When your ferret is ill, you may have to determine whether or not he has a fever. Learning how to take your ferret's temperature properly can help determine if immediate veterinary care is needed.

Your ferret's normal temperature is 101 to 103 degrees Fahrenheit. Higher temperatures may necessitate a trip to your veterinarian, depending on other symptoms. Feeling the ears, nose or head is not considered a reliable method; you have to determine your ferret's internal temperature to find out for certain. This is done rectally, using a rectal or oral thermometer, either digital or mercury. Ear thermometers are not accurate in ferrets due to the structure of their ear canals.

Some ferrets will allow you to take their temperature, but others don't like it at all. It might be easier if you get another person to assist by holding your ferret in place. Then do the following:

  • If using a mercury thermometer, remember to shake it with a quick flick of the wrist until the mercury is below 94 degrees Fahrenheit. Then lubricate the thermometer with petroleum jelly, KY jelly or other water-based lubricant.

  • Have your helper grasp the skin at the base of the neck and raise your ferret just above the ground. This technique generally calms the ferret.

  • Lift your ferret's tail and insert the thermometer slowly and carefully into the rectum, located just below the base of the tail. Insert the thermometer about 1 inch and hold in place – 2 minutes for mercury thermometers or until the digital thermometer beeps.

  • Remove the thermometer and read the temperature.

    If your ferret has a body temperature less than 99 degrees or over 105 degrees, contact your veterinarian or local emergency facility immediately. A high temperature could mean your ferret has an infection. A temperature lower than normal can be just as serious, indicating other problems like shock.

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